Posts Tagged ‘punk rock’

I Went To School With Bonnie Jones (Yellow)


27 Sep

dream

Bonnie's Dream

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From Bonnie Jones Davisson
September 27, 2009 at 10:58am

You are such an inspiration Gabriel! I will call you that because it suits you as you are. I am so sorry to hear about your mother's struggles. One thing my siblings and I did was to pamper my mother as she was - a true queen. In her latter months, we would go into the nursing home and just crawl inro bed with her, holding her close just to hear her heart beat. We are a very close family, and it was all because of her. She was our sun, and we were mearly planets made from her stardust.

Yes, David died in his sleep. His heart just stopped. He was a type A, head of the gyn. dept. in Thomasville GA. If I go, that's how I want to do it. I remember in one of my attempts at leaving ths Earth, I was guided by David for 3 days, as I spoke French the entire time. Strange what the mind will do. Mutt is simply that, a Mutt. I hear he also has heart troubles, but his boxing days were over a long time ago. He and I had an affair during his boxing days, but my true love was David. I sincerely think had Bobby not been around the two of us would have connected. Mutt has 2 boys—Hunter and Fisher—which speaks volumns as to Mutt's lack of sincerity and unimaginable ego. Were it not for his mousy wife, Robin, his sons would be wild and free, much like Luke's. Good grief! I have told you more buried secrets of my life than I have anyone else! Why do you have my trust so easily?

I have not been on Facebook much lately. I am preoccupied with my daughter's wedding. As a highly gifted child, she is rejecting all tradtitional ceremonies, and is insisting on wearing a pair of $400 knee boots under her dress - of which I thought looked cheap. Intervention meant going to Athens and visiting flower shops, which she finally conceded as beautiful, but is still stubbornly rejecting the cake, which I will do anyway. She will thank me when she's older.

I am also preoccupied with changing pain medication doctors and doing physical therapy. I am also studying with a Jehovah's Witness, of which I have 2 sisters who have practised the religion for over 40 years. Too much has come to pass that they have said would to ignore this religin as not being at least worthy of a second look. I also like the way they are always studying the Bible. Their worships on Sundays are not ranting and ravings, but actual talks by various elders who constantly refer to the Bible to support their subject of the day. I was amazed that in Genesis, it says that the Earth shangs in the heavens as if on a string. Why didn't the Pope KNOW that when the church banned Copernicus to house arrest?

Many exciting things happening right now. I will keep you posted.

Your friend and confidant,
Bonnie

Woman, oh, woman. Well, with every note, Bonnie, you come with both barrels loaded it seems. That's a good thing. Thanks for the update on the Daniel brothers. Tragic, in David's case. As stated earlier, I didn't actually know Mutt, and I had no idea that you bounced around with him at some point. I do appreciate your honesty. Very refreshing to find someone who finds redemption in detail, and craves loveliness despite the reckoning one's path in life often brings...

The story of your mother, of course, is a warming example of what family life can be. Cling to the memories, dear woman. Life is fleeting, and we make of it what we dare within the circumstances we may wrestle and the choices we can muster. Unfortunately, my family never quite measured up to those many ideals we sought, rugged individualists to the core, each of us, beginning with a hardcore alcoholic father and a mother of seven who never REALLY wanted to mother, but chafed an entire life craving to exude ideas of exceptionalism while denying her often troubled, even troublesome yet striving children the same. But after all is said and done, I guess she did her best, as did we.

But here we are, 24 fat and lean years later, still tied in knots, madly in love with each other, best friends forever, and rarely seen in public without the other except during the weekday when she counts the beans in her big office while I chip away at the art world. Her already elderly parents were scandalized by all the brute stylings of the wedding we planned ourselves (mostly me), and for that small over-indulgence I am regretful, but it WAS indeed a unique event.
I hazard to make any remarks about your daughter's choice of wedding apparel because you may be right. The boots may indeed look cheap. Cheap is a fashion choice with its place, its own context and subtext, it still must fit and flow.

I too, am strongly opinionated about fashion, although I am somewhat of a slob myself except when I reclaim the magic. Then I can't fail to strike an erstwhile artistic pose with compliments swirling. In another life, as the saying goes, I might very well have aspired to a life of fashion design. You may remember from high school some rather odd choices I wore to class. Checkered pants, golfer's attire. White shoes, perhaps. From junior high forward, my bold clothes tended to set me apart from the general population, a trait I still maintain to some degree.

That said, my tastes range from traditional upscale lines to street punk debonair. Without embarrassment I have all but dressed my wife for 26 years. Admittedly she resisted early on, but grew to appreciate the benefits. She of course now solicits my eye, and recognizes that I love quality with flair. She sometimes admits the truth that she exudes no taste whatsoever, if anything, maybe classic Tom Robbins cowgirl blues couture. So, if daughter's boots are shiny vinyl high kickers, I say, yuck to cheap, kitsch hooker glam. No way. But if they are matte black thigh high combat boots, with luxurious white quilt-stitched silk gripping her, she'd have my vote, as long as she matches it with a black silk headscarf appointed with red rose to regale her hair in something other than a stale 1950s-1960s bouffant that is so popular with the wedding planner set for decades. Of course, I'm presuming she has long hair, but even if she doesn't, a similar treatment would probably be agreeable. This is all fanciful speculation, of course. Can't quite kill the punk rocker aesthetic I wholeheartedly embraced I suppose.

OK. That was me in Project Runway mode. Please pardon me, if I've insulted you, Bonnie. Perhaps I should share. At the Sue & Gabriel wedding in 1985, no holds barred punk rock motif all the way, my wife and I boasted a square black cake with a pirate's skull & crossbones on top in mockery of all the scripted storybook marriages that then and now fail at a 50% rate. She called all over the city of WASHINGTON, DC for black roses. None could be found. Florists thought she was crazy. We ended up spraying silk red roses black. Nowadays, authentic black roses are found everywhere, roses actually bred to be black. Yup, we were part of a trendsetter generation, for better or worse. But here we are, 24 fat and lean years later, still tied in knots, madly in love with each other, best friends forever, and rarely seen in public without the other except during the weekday when she counts the beans in her big office while I chip away at the art world. Her already elderly parents were scandalized by all the brute stylings of the wedding we planned ourselves (mostly me), and for that small over-indulgence I am regretful, but it WAS indeed a unique event.

As for the Jehovah's Witnesses, I too, have extreme experience with them. But I will delay that deposition until the next letter.

Your friend in letters,

Gabriel

Twenty-Five Random Things About Me


31 Jan

spikedpunch

Punk Ain't Dead in 1985

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Rules: Once you've been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about yourself. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it's because I want to know more about you.

(To do this, go to "notes" under tabs on your profile page, paste these instructions in the body of the note, type your 25 random things, tag 25 people (in the right hand corner of the app) then click publish.)

1. I used to hang with Ru Paul in Atlanta back when HE played in a band called Wee Wee Pole, mostly at the 688 Club and the Bistro, both now defunct.

2. I was a brilliant child (one of the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked, dragging myself through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix…), then I bumped into the lads of 9353, and learned something else about myself.

3. Bob Dylan, Thomas Paine, and Henry Miller, in that order fascinate me to the ends of the intellectual spool, are my heroes, and oddly enough, both the Right and the Left claim them (well, Miller might not make the cut on the Right), and yet all are despised by both the Right and the Left when it suits them.

4. I hitchhiked from Atlanta to NYC to meet Allen Ginsberg with seven cents in my pocket because I had lost my whole $250 paycheck earned working a roofing tar kettle the night before dancing and boozing with a hole in my pocket I had sworn to avoid, all in celebration of my departure. I also met my future wife on that trip. It's a long story.

5. I was a literary poet when I came to DC. I then became a drunk, quit writing poetry in deference to my rocker friends and enemies like Bruce, Boyd, Vance, Gene, Jamie, Rene, Lloyd, Frank, Henry, Andy, Jack and so many more of that squiggle of spit-possessed renegades.

6. I grew up poor among the poor. My five siblings and I often slept in sleeping bags curled up around the only kerosene heater in the house built in 1865, later burned to the ground by an arsonist in 1972, along with many of my childhood treasures. My father collected junk Cadillac & Pontiac hearses and DUIs as if nothing else existed for him.

7. I once told Jesse Jackson I don't stomp the pavement for any cause. And yes, I shook Ronald Reagan's hand as he was leaving the Jacksonville Convention Center in 1972, as a Nixon delegate in the first highschool mock convention of its kind. My particular Florida highschool represented the state of Tennessee. Shirley Chisolm was also there.

8. I recall the Kennedy assassination in full black and white. I was in the third grade. I watched the aftermath at Darwin Gale's house while he was outside playing in the dirt with toy soldiers, our usual connivance.

9. I was married to a Jehovah's Witness twice my age, mother of three, when I was eighteen, four weeks after she smothered my virginity. What a dweeb I was! It lasted three horrific years.

10. With a nod to Yeats, I slouched in the dirty and dangerous coke ovens at Bethlehem Steel on Lake Michigan back when America was strong, though the steel industry was just then beginning to feel the coming shrinkage.

11. My grandfather regularly played chess with King Faisal Ibn Abdul of Saudi Arabia when he was a construction superintendent there in 1966. This king was later assassinated by his own nephew. Spud Woodward, my grandfather, left after six months of his two year tour seriously needing an adult beverage, of course banned over there.

12. I became a painter after reading a book.

13. I believe America is in deep shit, and I also believe we haven't a pooper scooper to our name as a nation.

14. If it weren't for money, I'd be a rich man.

15. I lost a 900 page novel manuscript among other fine washables when I accidentally erased it off my computer.

16. As a former Episcopalean acolyte and Eagle scout, well not quite, my family moved to a remote barrier island owned by the Carnegie and Rockefeller families when I was fourteen, effectively ending my scouting career at Life, anyhow, what was my point?

17. My family were among the original band of Scottish Highlanders to found the State of Georgia. Names like Mackintosh, Spalding, Kenan, Woodward, Atwood lead straight to me. Big effing deal some might say; I say it's all in how you present the information. Did I mention one of my ancestors traced my heritage straight to William the Conqueror, the bastard lord of feudalism? Thirty-one generations. I did the math. Lots of people are my cousins.

18. I have never been to college. But I am still a tool of my enemy, and I cannot visualize an escape.

19. Guns. Now that's something William S. Burroughs knew something about.

20. I either secretly or outright despise Marxists because I am right of center and am more generous with my time and my treasure than any "ever so concerned" Marxist I have ever met.

21. I realize that the line is being drawn in the sand even as I write these words and parse these syllables. There is no time left to write poems or paint pretty pictures. Now is the time for all good men and women to rise to the challenges our spineless leaders have injected into our collective bloodstream.

22. Twenty-five years with the same woman. Haplessly married, but unbreachably united. A story for the ages. Check out Abelard and Heloise.

23. I am either supra-confident in public (usually a byproduct of alcohol, of which I rarely partake these days), or timid and tragically neurotic and full of self-doubt. Ask around.

24. In the spirit of jolly old Saint Nix (one of my former namesakes), I am always making a list and checking it twice, determined as hell to discover who is naughty and who is nice.

25. My greatest shame is that few people who call themselves my friends have ever bothered to listen to my Internet radio station, Radio Scenewash, or read, much less respond to any of my blogs in the several years I have operated them. Such is MY life in the fast lane among the self-satisfied and the splendid.

The SI Is Not Sports Illustrated


20 Mar

dissent

Dissent

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Originally published Mar 20, 1997; this discussion took place in the founding days on The Spectacle SI listserv between Sam Hutchinson in italics, and myself.

I don't want to dis your friend too hard here, but are you kidding me? If we are going to set up such a silly Marx/Engels parallel, then undoubtly the most apparent Engels would be Vanegiem. Now I will go out on a limb here and say that the truest heir to Debord's paper throne was Malcolm Maclaren. I recognize punk as more than a passing fad. It was a very subversive passing fad... The only significant press time Situ theory has received since '68 was that insane summer of '77. Count the ego drive that inevitably destroyed the movement each was so critical in creating and you have the beginnings of a very subtle parallel to be drawn.

True. Bracken acknowledges this, but still draws heavily from the language of Marx, while like the original situ thinkers, rejects the Soviet model, and rightly so, doesn't say too much about the Chinese model, but loves himself a Chinese woman, or two, actually can rarely ignore the opportunity to add several Asians to his whistling sidecar.

I question this Bracken's thinking concerning Situ theory. Capitalist pig? Situationism was not Marxism. it grew from a distrust of Marxism as well as a distrust of capitalism and a refusal of the polar dialectic the two combined to create. anarchy, if it is good, attempts to break out of these convenient structures of left and right and find a new form, a new city, a new avenue to the conditions of freedom... What have we learned these past few days? Me, I have basically decided that situationism can not be revived. it would be like this "punk-revival" that is so big these days. in mimicing the stances and attitudes of punk, you essentially repress you ability to create new stances and forms. punk was a violent refusal to allow that freedom, the freedom to create new stances, the freedom to be revolutionary, to disappear from the zone that is pop.music.rock-n-roll, for lack of a better term. as Peter Buck once said of the early days of R.E.M.: "When we would go to New York and play, everyone was like, no, that's not punk. Punk is three chords and spitting. But we always saw punk as being able to so whatever you wanted, even if you wanted to be a folk-punk band..." I think we can easily substitute "situationism" for punk in all of the above sentences. To relive the exploits of the past is to deny a creation of a now. If we are to be situationists of a contemporary epoch, we must at least have the nerve to bury the remains of the past. Otherwise we are just necrophiles fucking a long dead corpse. To sum up: I don't live in Paris, 1968. I live in Atlanta, 1997.

I wouldn't change a single syllable above. Bravo! Why can't Bracken fathom this? I think he was off on some island, too conservative, too young, or just too damned preoccupied with books and scholarly pretensions, and therefore not a part of the punk scene to admit that the world has screamed past 1968. But then, I'm not a textbook revolutionary. I'm an observer observing the observers, executing bad policies, that is to say, putting to death bad policies I have tested and found wanting....and as my doubts are eyeball high, the jury's still out given the book I'm just been paid to typeset, it's probably best for me to duck from this discussion for now.

At this point, I don't think any of us on this list are revolutionary. I bought this computer.

To your point, Sam, I shelled out big money on this upscale computer so that I could join the world of blips and bleeps, to face the fears of the future with ev'ry article of faith I have to exploit my need to communicate from the best beaches of childhood memory to the most stormy seashores chanced by aman in search of the most valuable one liner ever heard in the English language, and live out a simple life making simple choices, one or two maybe a few at a time, but I certainly do not feel qualified to speak for, or against, this bustling deaf world at large, except in spoonfuls of salt or vinegar meant for beggars and brothers who prove themselves not on the field of battle but upon the waves of friendship. I'm not neither parrot, nor paratrooper, sheep or wolf, victim or executioner until I have no other choices. It's time we realized that we cannot control the entire world with a well-placed verb, noun, or screaming decibel of a three-minute song, but it is the almighty decimal point that is being propped up by controlling powers pacing strategically around the globe that must be analyzed, attacked, and destroyed in due time. But most of us don't want to be around when that happens.

Bracken drives a Beemer, or is it a Volvo? I have no problem with that, and neither does he, obviously, but why if a typewriter is a revolutionary's best friend, tell me in the name of Bill Gates (my own nominee for Anti-Christ of the hour), does buying a computer make one "unrevolutionary"? This is one aspect of the materialism/born with nothing, die with nothing question I have never quite understood, although in some respects I feel the same burn because my wife has a tendancy to want to buy a new house, or the latest anything all the time. I confess to a degree the same desires, but mine are generally focussed entirely on software and hardware, and of course books. I don't need clothes or car. My house is satisfactory except for the inner city warzone where it's located keeping me juiced on paranoia with a nearly debilitating fear to tread outdoors.

Anyone taken as an individual is tolerably sensible and reasonable—as a member of a crowd he at once becomes a blockhead.Friedrich Schiller

The question of Marcus is a tricky one. He was my introduction to the SI and I agree that it's a great read, but on re-reading him last year in the midst of hundreds of other people's versions (I kid you not, I can send the 8-page bib.!), it is clear that Marcus either knows little about the politics of the SI post- '62 and/or glosses over many things in order to push his 'bohemian losers' line. There is a certain aestheticism and romanticism in Marcus' account that renders everything in the book as simultaneously crucial, vital, necessary and doomed, marginal, pointless. From what little I know of Len Bracken, I think he's just taking these kinds of qualms and magnifying them (in best pro-Situ fashion) into a stance of unwavering enmity.

schiller

Friedrich Schiller

I think you are probably right about this. The only flaw in this argument however is Bracken's own romanticism about everything Debordian to the point that he disagrees with damn near anybody who publishes an opinion concerning his master, so that his own opinion remains prominent in the minds of any potential acolytes. I rely upon Bracken's real life example in these matters because he is my strongest closest contact with all this revolutionary posture, and I'm new to the specifics of the SI, despite have been an independent rebellious sort while struggling for self-awareness for much of my life. Bracken, like myself, is a sports enthusiast, although I'm way past my prime. Yes, I had read Lipstick Traces, already. Still have my original hardcover on the bookshelves. But Bracken is local. He stormed in wearing this Debordian crown of thorns. He claims a certain pride of Debordian discipleship, so I'm sure he would not appreciate these "non-dialectical" details of his life coming off my keyboard, but to me the reality is that everything is dialectical or nothing is dialectical. I do not understand this solipsistic need to get social approval for one's revolutionary postures. Either one is revolutionary or one is not. The label is nothing but air and alphabet. Aestheticism, however, is not among Len's own bag of tricks, except as it regards his own personal hygiene and that of women. Is the situationist spiel merely a thinly disguised front for bagging women, I ask. With Bracken, it seems so. I hardly think the SI is Sports Illustrated. But thanks for the perspective...

S A M P L E X

"Ignorance and virtue suck on the same straw. Souls grow on bones, but die beneath bankers' hours.""


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